Breathing Walls by Rhea Karam 

Issue 63

By definition, walls are barriers. They can also act as windows to the conflicts engulfing their surroundings. In times of strife walls offer a means of communication and self-expression for members of all social and religious communities. They have proven themselves an effective tool in establishing dialogue between suppressed voices and opinions by offering a canvas or soapbox for the oppressed. The Berlin Wall and The Peace Lines Walls of Northern Ireland are but just two examples. They are storytellers - absorbing and reflecting their surroundings - and becoming silent witnesses to our lives and battles.

Breathing Walls is a project I originally started photographing in Lebanon, my country of origin. I felt the necessity to document these ephemeral testimonies of life as a record of an important period in time. With the rising of the Arab spring I decided to broaden my project and begin documenting other countries in the region where the walls are a crucial tool of communication and an unbiased reflection of the socio – political status. Egypt being the most recent series, I intend to continue to photograph this country and others in the region in order to archive the constantly evolving urban landscape. 

Rhea Karam lives and works on New York, NY and Beirut, Lebanon.
To view more of Rhea's work, please visit her website.

You can purchase New Seeds, Egypt from Fraction Editions.

 Faded Symbol, Lebanon

Faded Symbol, Lebanon

 Political Jungle, Lebanon

Political Jungle, Lebanon

 Red Cars, Lebanon

Red Cars, Lebanon

 Rockheads, Lebanon

Rockheads, Lebanon

 By All Means, Egypt

By All Means, Egypt

 Security Door, Lebanon

Security Door, Lebanon

 Flower Pots, Lebanon

Flower Pots, Lebanon

 The President, Lebanon

The President, Lebanon

 Tough Love, Egypt

Tough Love, Egypt

 New Seeds, Egypt ( click to purchase image )

New Seeds, Egypt (click to purchase image)

 Footprints, Lebanon

Footprints, Lebanon

 Rebuilding Freedom, Lebanon

Rebuilding Freedom, Lebanon

 Hariri, Lebanon

Hariri, Lebanon

 Two Side of Every Story, Egypt

Two Side of Every Story, Egypt

 Game Over, Egypt

Game Over, Egypt

 Characters at Play, Egypt

Characters at Play, Egypt

 Think, Egypt

Think, Egypt

 Liars, Egypt

Liars, Egypt

 Freedom Calling, Egypt

Freedom Calling, Egypt

 Beirut Stone Pile, Lebanon

Beirut Stone Pile, Lebanon